Tonight, the final four couples face off on Dancing With the Stars in a Latin round (including a solo) and a ballroom round, in which they'll take on a style they haven't tried yet.
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are up first tonight, doing the paso doble. The piece is interesting, but I feel like it lacks a little drama (maybe because Brandy isn't working a dress that evokes a cape, but instead has on black leggings), and her footwork seems a little tentative in places. Head judge Len Goodman says everyone should be fighting to get into the final, and Brandy came out giving 100 percent, though "once or twice you went a little bit quiet." Bruno Tonioli says she released all her aggression, but she went a bit unsteady a couple of times, but she was so into it. Carrie Ann Tonioli says she was so locked into her character and that she worked on her upper carriage a lot, and it was obvious. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough have the cha cha this week, and they're dancing to Duffy's "Mercy," which evidently was one of the first songs that Jennifer danced to in front of Derek a the beginning of the competition. They have a blast out on the floor, but this felt a little short. I guess since the show is only 90 minutes tonight (Hallelujah!), they cut the dances some. Bruno says it was a luminous, vibrant and sexy cha cha, executed perfectly. Carrie Ann says she's been waiting all season for this, and she wasn't disappointed, except that she shimmied at Bruno instead of Len. Len says it was good technique, entertainment and fun all mixed up together. Scores: 10-10-10, for a 30/30.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas have a talk about how she's still on the show because she's relatable to the audience since she's not "typical Hollywood" and not because of who her mom is. Honestly, I think there is a combination in play. Anyway, tonight they're doing the paso doble. She has the opposite thing going on than Brandy in terms of her costume -- it's so dramatic that at times I think it is overwhelming her. But as far as the dancing goes, this is about the strongest we've seen her. She's not going to pull any 10s, but that's OK. Carrie Ann calls her over for a hug and tells her she was on fire. She says Bristol nailed it. Len says she's showed so much determination, and that this was her best dance. Bruno says he never thought he would see this -- especially her flamenco lines. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer dance the samba tonight, and he is determined to bring it after last week's great showing in the instant dance. It's the party dance, and he's an entertainer, so it's a good match. Len says he doesn't have drama or histrionics, he just comes out and dances. He adds that Kyle has a bionic bum and "more bounce to the ounce." Bruno says he's a bundle of joy, and he's a natural generator of excitement and fun, and his timing was great. Carrie Ann says she has never seen so much pelvic action -- "ever!" But he also had proper technique, so she's thrilled. Scores: 10-9-10, for a 29/30. They are psyched.
For the ballroom round, Brandy and Maks have the Argentine tango, and they bring all sorts of drama and passion to the stage. I haven't been Brandy's biggest fan this season, but I love this. Len says she had amazing extension, but mostly, they created an atmosphere. Bruno says it was languid and voluptuous and full of emotional depth. Carrie Ann says that this was a dynamic, amazing, beautiful, passionate and lots of other adjectives. She loved it. Scores: 10-10-10, for a 30/60, and a total 57/60.
Next, Jennifer and Derek dance the waltz, and she is the picture of grace out there. Just lovely. Bruno says this was a gem of a waltz, full of stylish, elegant detail and with stunning quality of movement. Hear, hear. Carrie Ann says the body never lies, and because this was so simple, it was truly beautiful. Len says, "Be still my beating heart, and sometimes a whisper can speak louder than a shout. ... If I'm dreaming, don't wake me up." He loved it. Scores: 10-10-10, for a 30/30, and a perfect 60/60.
Bristol and Mark are also dancing the waltz tonight, and it's another somewhat quiet performance, but full of drama. In the middle, they seem a little disconnected (not physically, but emotionally), but I think it's on purpose, leading up to the crescendo of the song? It's interesting. Carrie Ann says she felt like she drifted out of character for swaths of this dance, and a little too much space, "but I still think you've come so far." Len likes the vulnerability and the haunting feeling of this dance. Bruno liked the approach, "like a woman of mystery." He thinks she has had an amazing journey on this show. Scores: 8-9-9, for 26/30 and a 53/60 total.
Kyle and Lacey are last tonight, with the Argentine tango. There are a couple of moments toward the end when his posture gets a little wonky, but you can really see how far he's come this season in this dance. Their song is really fast, and Lacey's put some quick choreography into this dance. Len says Kyle is a star, and that in 11 seasons, no one has come out and performed with as much attack and enthusiasm. Bruno says he was strong, sharp and masculine, and he went from fun to precise. Carrie Ann says he is reminding her of Emmitt Smith, and he is coming out of nowhere and killing every routine just like that champion. Scores: 10-9-10, for a 29/30 and a total 58/60.
Wow, I just realized Kyle is ahead of Brandy. Really? I mean, he had a good night, but so did she.
What do you think about this evening's dances?